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Ethnicity and Race

The effects of race and ethnicity are complex and multidimensional and have institutional and social causes. This entry provides definitions for race and ethnicity in the United States as researchers, scholars, and institutional agencies currently use the terms. Although there are both biologically derived definitions and socially constructed definitions, the biologically derived definitions are being debunked, and a more complex definition, related to racialization (i.e., the categorization of people by race, which leads to racial discrimination) is more widely accepted. There are still many weaknesses in how researchers collect information on race and ethnicity, specifically when relying on definitions provided by the U.S. census and assuming that these definitions are consistent. However, it may be that understanding the fluidity of these definitions can allow researchers ...

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